Primary schools in Derry are facing a major financial crisis, their principals today warn.
In an 'open letter' to parents through the Derry News, a group representing all the principals at the city's 40 primary schools say the 'grave' situation is having an adverse impact on children's education.
The Primary Principals’ Association (PPA) say that by the end of this month, primary schools in Derry will be facing a total deficit of more than £1m.
If action is not taken to address the situation, the association believes that figure will rise to £4m by 2022.
The principals are demanding a meeting with the Education Minister, Peter Weir, to discuss the crisis.
And they have appealed for local parents to support their campaign to have schools better resourced.
In the letter, the PPA say schools are having to cope with 'unprecedented financial pressures.
“The amount of funding that we are receiving for each child has been reduced drastically over the past number of years by over £70 per child per year, whilst staff costs and inflation have constantly risen,” the letter states.
“Within 31 of the 40 local Primary Schools which we represent, the combined budgets will be running at a deficit of £1,007,372 at the end of this financial year (i.e. 31st March 2020) and this will increase substantially to a deficit of £4,204,136 by the end of March 2022 (i.e. 2 years’ time).
“This is a grave situation and one which cannot make for sustaining schools, never mind trying to sustain school improvement.”
The letter is signed by the principals of the following schools: Bunscoil Cholmcille, Lisnagelvin PS, Eglinton PS, Faughanvale PS, Glendermott PS , Greenhaw PS, New Buildings PS, Ebrington PS, Hollybush PS, Holy Child PS, Long Tower PS, Model PS, Nazareth House PS, Rosemount PS, Saint Eithne’s PS, St. Eugene’s PS, St. Oliver Plunkett PS, St. Patrick’s PS, Glendermott PS, Ashlea PS, St. Paul’s PS, St. Therese PS, Steelstown PS, St Anne’s PS, Oakgrove Integrated PS, Sacred Heart PS, Chapel Road PS, Good Shepherd PS, Balloughry PS, St John’s PS, Holy Family PS, Gaelscoil Éadain Mhóir, St Brigid’s PS, Fountain PS, Gaelscoil na Daroige, Culmore PS, St Columba’s PS, Drumahoe PS and Broadbridge PS.
See today's Derry News for the full contents of the letter.
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